Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Introductory to Elementary Mathematics - Day 1

Since my secondary school days, I have a fear of Mathematics. I can't seem to get the correct answer or correct solution to the questions and a part was also because of the teacher I had back then. Whenever I or the others asked a question, all she does was to shut us off and to ask us to get back to what we were doing. And since that episode, no one  asked her any questions and I simply rely on tuition.

This module, I tell myself, to have an open mind and to unlearn and relearn Mathematics again or as much as I can in order to be able to teach at least, my own children. The first lesson was making a rectangle and who knows How interesting it can be by using tangrams and using limited pieces to try and form a rectangle. It came to a point where we became more challenged and tried more and more pieces and its simply amazing to How when humans have a sense of achievement and then willing to further challenged themselves to the next level. I particularly like what Dr Yeap mentioned, "No matter how much you want to forget but can't, it is knowledge." Like the smell of durian, it is simple words yet carry much impact. And this type of learning is through visualization whereby we see how the tangrams can form a rectangle. Then we move on to another interesting lesson which is using Dr Yeap's name and find out the 99th letter in it. There are many ways we can do of course but I guess ultimately, it is to let us know that we can find patterns and that is one of the way that children learn.

We also learnt about the ways to teach a child, through exploring, scaffolding and role-modelling. It is close to what we learnt in our theories and what we put in practice for our method in teaching young children. And if we put in the same theories as what we used in Mathematics rather than seeing it as only practise, memorization for Mathematics, the children could definitely do better and show interest in the subject.

If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.  ~John Louis von Neumann

If two wrongs don't make a right, try three.  ~Author Unknown

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